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RealTime Economic Issues Watch

In RealTime posts, PIIE senior staff and colleagues discuss the fast-moving economic news, financial developments, and public policy choices confronting the United States and the world.

Recent Posts

A Political and Intellectual Proxy War over Greece

by | July 2nd, 2015 | 04:15 pm

The escalation of the conflict over Greece is more than a dispute between the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Greece’s international creditors. The conflict is a proxy for two wars—one intellectual and one political—in which the Greek people, especially the poor, have been taken hostage. The intellectual war is over the sustainability of […]

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Greece’s Future Is in Greek Hands

by | July 2nd, 2015 | 12:33 pm

The Greek government has dug itself and its people into a hole over the last week, as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has reversed himself on an ever growing list of key issues. His government is now suddenly in favor of a third bailout from the euro area (though excluding the International Monetary Fund this time), […]

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Can the Grexit Lemon Be Made into Lemonade?

by | July 1st, 2015 | 06:47 pm

With a referendum scheduled for Sunday and frantic negotiations spilling onto the front pages, the possibility of a Greek exit from the euro area, or Grexit, looms large. It is hard to see how Grexit could be avoided if the referendum results in a “no” vote. Such an exit is fraught with danger, yet it […]

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Turbulent Outlook for Greece

by , Simeon Djankov, and Angel Ubide | June 30th, 2015 | 03:29 pm

The escalating confrontation between Greece and its international creditors has further devastated Greece’s economic outlook, according to three PIIE experts. Jacob Funk Kirkegaard says that voter rejection of creditor demands in a referendum on July 5 will be disastrous, but even a voter approval will not necessarily reopen banks right away. Simeon Djankov says a […]

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What Does the Tsipras Referendum Bode for Greece’s Neighbors?

by | June 30th, 2015 | 01:17 pm

Much will be written on the likely deleterious effects of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s surprise call for a referendum of the Greek rescue package. Former prime minister Georgios Papandreou attempted a similar step in November 2011, leading to the resignation of his government a few days later. Fortunately, the actual step of holding a referendum […]

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The Simple Solution for Greece that Europe Won’t Try

by | June 30th, 2015 | 11:31 am

In an interview with Ezra Klein of Vox, Adam S. Posen argues that the euro area lacks the fiscal transfer mechanism that exists in the United States enabling poor countries that get into financial trouble to be aided by wealthier countries that are part of the currency union. A breakdown in trust has changed the […]

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Greece Turns from Drama to Tragedy

by | June 29th, 2015 | 05:05 pm

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s surprise call last week for a referendum on the austerity proposals by its international creditors, followed by the shuttering of Greece’s banks and stock exchange on June 29, opens a dangerous new chapter of its crisis. It could also spell the end of Tsipras’s political leadership. The prime minister’s moves have […]

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President Dilma Rousseff Comes to Town

by | June 25th, 2015 | 11:00 am

President Dilma Rousseff’s visit to Washington next week will mark an important turning point in Brazil-US relations. Or will it? After floundering for several years, it is hard to imagine that the currently lukewarm—and at times decidedly distant—relationship between the two largest economies in the Americas will change much on June 30. However, the visit […]

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Greece: Better Than Expected, But Still Not Good News

by | June 22nd, 2015 | 05:37 pm

The meeting of the Eurogroup of finance ministers on June 22 marked the first time after five months in office that the Greek government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras proposed reforms that the Eurogroup considered credible enough to even begin to discuss. This alone is a welcome if incomprehensibly long overdue development. But many challenges […]

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Greece’s Fate: High Noon in Brussels

by | June 19th, 2015 | 05:11 pm

The emergency Euro Summit in Brussels planned for June 22 to discuss the situation in Greece will decide whether Greece will continue in its current reform program imposed by its creditors or enter into a default against them. What will not be decided is whether Greece remains a member of the euro area. Despite all […]

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